Nunavut premier and cabinet to be chosen Wednesday

MLAs to make decisions by secret ballot as legislature resumes

Nunavut’s legislature in Iqaluit will be full of MLAs once again on Wednesday, as members — some new and some returning — will choose a premier, cabinet and Speaker of the legislature. (Photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Nunavut’s recently elected MLAs will choose the territory’s premier, cabinet and Speaker of the legislature this Wednesday as the legislative assembly gets down to business for the first time since last month’s election.

While the leadership forum is a public event, the decisions are made by secret ballot.

The forum will begin with MLAs selecting their Speaker, according to a news release issued by John Quirke, the clerk of the legislative assembly.

The Speaker, once chosen, will preside over the rest of the event.

Next MLAs will choose their premier. Those who are nominated will have the chance to give a speech and to answer other members’ questions.

Once a premier is chosen, MLAs will similarly elect eight cabinet ministers. The premier-elect will then assign ministers their portfolios.

On Oct. 25, Nunavut voters elected 22 members of the sixth legislative assembly. Five incumbent MLAs ran unopposed, six were re-elected and 11 are new faces.

Premier Joe Savikataaq, George Hickes, Lorne Kusugak, David Joanasie, David Akeeagok and Margaret Nakashuk are the ministers who were re-elected or acclaimed to the new government.

Orientation began for the MLAs on Nov. 8 and the new assembly will sit for the first time in Iqaluit on Friday.

After Nov. 19, the legislative assembly isn’t scheduled to sit again until the new year.

Wednesday’s proceedings will be broadcast on local community cable stations, some local radio stations and live-streamed on the legislative assembly’s website.

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(33) Comments:

  1. Posted by Voter on

    I’m hopeful a new Premier will be appointed and most of the Ministers will be new, fresh change and move away from the old boys club.

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    • Posted by Magical thinking? on

      Will it really be any better if that happens?

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      • Posted by Carl on

        Can’t be any worse, But I agree, new faces and new energy would be nice.

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    • Posted by Just saying on

      Joe was all old boy’s club and had no transparency. I was so disappointed in his lack of energy towards in making any improvements. I still can’t get over the fact that he announced certsin bureaucrat wouldn’t have to isolate in the hub. So self serving.

      On a separate note when are they gonna change the rules so that those with criminal backgrounds (especially sexual or domestic violence) cant make it as Premier. Not Joe…someone else I know who expressed interest in that role

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      • Posted by Northern Guy on

        In response to your question “when are they gonna change the rules so that those with criminal backgrounds (especially sexual or domestic violence) can’t (sic) make it as Premier” My answer is hopefully never. People convicted of serious criminal offenses like sexual assault and assault should never be allowed to run for any public office at any level let alone the highest elected position in the territory.

  2. Posted by upset GN employee on

    Guys please get off your ass and do your jobs! There are people that are not being paid due to no DM signature since first week of October 2021 . This csa contract needs changed really bad!

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  3. Posted by hopeful on

    PJ Akeeagok for Premier. He has the proven leadership. Out with the one in with the new.

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    • Posted by split it up again PJ on

      He is all pomp and stance. Did nothing for us in north Baffin though we have potentially the biggest mine in Canada. Would not be good for Kitikmeot, he’ll forget about you.

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  4. Posted by Annie Filipee on

    It will be fun watching them all scramble for positions for personal gain. I hope someday we see them scramble to help GN employees and Nunavut thrive.

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  5. Posted by Joshua curley on

    Hope new Premier will be more helpful to us nunavutmiut..not neglecting peoples needs of answers ..think wisely before electing.

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    • Posted by frank on

      Joshua, dont just talk big, take action, see if you can be elected and think wisely before you make a comment. you will never know just how much work the job requires. you would never make it nor would you ever make sense out of it, believe me.

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  6. Posted by Lead by example on

    Hoping there will be a balance of experienced and new leadership. I’d like to see David Akeeagok and George Hickes back in Cabinet (two strongest ministers imho) and Margaret Nakasuk and David Joanasie go back to being MLAs. Bring Karen Nutarak from Mittimatalik and Pam Gross from CamBay into Cabinet, and leave Adam Lightstone, John Main and Janet Brewster be a strong opposition team. Either Joe Savikataaq or PJ Akeeagok for Premier – dear lord do not let Nunavut suffer under Lorne Kusugak as Premier, but LK would make a good speaker.

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    • Posted by Observation Post on

      John Main would be an excellent cabinet minister. I hope he is given a portfolio.

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  7. Posted by Truestory on

    Any MLA’s going to fight for our jobs here at Mary River, Nunavut? We don’t want to collect income support cheques and live off 1500.00 a month. Please do NOT vote Lori Idlout as a premiere for Nunavummiut as she is against her own constituents who work at Baffinland Iron Mines.

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    • Posted by Lori for Premier? on

      Don’t worry, I promise that If Lori Idlout is voted as Premier on Wednesday, I will personally top up your $1500/month IS cheques with another $10,000/month.

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      • Posted by Truestory on

        Sorry. But, I love working up here at Mary River. Learning a new trade, supporting my family, paying off bills, supporting income support collectors thru my taxes. I don’t like handout outs unless it’s weed or beer/whiskey.

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    • Posted by Putting this out there on

      This is such a great comment.
      Even if Baffinland closed all those currently employed could probably get a job almost anywhere since they have experience, either hamlet, GN, other mines in Nunavut.
      And Lory is not and MLA she is an MP. haha thank goodness though she is in the Federal Gov… will do less harm there.

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  8. Posted by Upset GN employee on

    GN not paying contractors/sub teachers since first week of October 2021 . How long will this go on ?

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    • Posted by The Fourth Estate on

      Nunatsiaq News, you should do a story on this troubling info.

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  9. Posted by Tommy on

    I’m looking forward to the new government. Especially now that George will get his chance as Premier. When he is premier he’ll get the water situation in Iqaluit under control right quick. You can count on George.

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  10. Posted by Ken on

    Thank you youth for protesting for the GN to do more on suicide, Nunavut is leading the world as one of the highest suicide rates, our GN has gone on to ignore this, brush it under the rug for years now, open beer and wine stores before any badly needed healing and metal health facilities and programs, treatment centres.
    Its time GN for you to stop ignoring this and start working hard to find solutions and work towards improving the social conditions especially in mental healthcare.

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    • Posted by frank on

      reading what you are saying, is upsetting when i look at it as if you are saying (nunavut people cant think for themselves, they just kill themselves because everybody depends on the government of nunavut) how sad

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  11. Posted by KWest on

    Mental Health needs to be the top priority. Any other needs can wait including food insecurity. Once Mental Health is taken seriously by the assembly, other difficulties will become bearable.

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  12. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    It will be a very interesting day tomorrow. The buzz going around the Ledge from all the Veterans jockeying for position, working on deals and planning their seat at the Dinner Table while the New People were wondering when they would be paid could be heard from this side of Nunavut.

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  13. Posted by Oscar on

    Whom ever is selected as Premier, Speaker and Cabinet Ministers, I wish them all the best and pray that they lead and listen with their hearts, not Government BS. Good luck to all candidates.

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    • Posted by Pork Pie the Pundit on

      Give us a good reason or two why you think this is a good idea? As it is I can see little to no merit in the idea of Lorne being our Premier. Still, I’m interested to hear your points.

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      • Posted by Reality Check on

        There are a lot of Kusugak’s in the Kivalliq who would enjoy seeing their name attached to the Premiership. That is the only serious reason anyone would propose this, there are no others.

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  14. Posted by Amittuq on

    Put Kaernerk in the Speaker’s seat. He’d finally amount for something after 4 years of doing practically nothing for the riding.

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  15. Posted by Beleavet on

    BS101… same campaign promises, same concerns and hopeful voters. Once elected, same BS. Definition of insanity is doing same thing over and over and expecting different results, Einstein!

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